A Ukrainian-founded satellite maintenance space startup raises USD 4 million

A startup Kurs Orbital, founded by Ukrainian veterans of the space industry, has successfully completed attracting new funding for the implementation of its satellite maintenance technology. To accelerate the implementation of its ambitious plans, Kurs Orbital has closed a round of financing in the amount of 3.7 million euros led by the European deep tech VC firm OTB Ventures, with the participation of Credo Ventures, Galaxia, In-Q-Tel and Inovo.

ARCap module from Kurs Orbital

A useful goal of Kurs Orbital

The goal of the company, founded in 2021, is to move and inspect satellites, as well as remove them from orbit to clean up space debris. However, Kurs Orbital does not plan to provide these services on its own. Instead, the startup intends to become a leading provider of rendezvous and docking technologies thanks to its ARCap module, which can be integrated into any spacecraft. 

The general director of the company, Volodymyr Usov, explained that currently there were no ready-made such technologies. Therefore, companies wishing to offer satellite service in orbit must develop this technology independently from scratch, and this requires time, resources and finances. The Kurs Orbital module allows these companies to enter the market faster and at lower cost.

The company’s technology is based on the Kurs rendezvous system from the time of the Soviet Union, which was designed to dock spacecraft with the Mir space station. However, unlike other companies, Kurs Orbital can dock with any targets that are not equipped with any equipment for such a procedure. Usov noted that their module could work with any spacecraft, such as malfunctioning satellites, or those that had run out of fuel, and could work after refueling.

Kurs Orbital, which is now based in Turin, Italy, aims to use the ARCap module as early as the fourth quarter of 2025. Although the company refuses to provide any details about the first private space mission.

Promising space market

In-orbit maintenance is becoming relevant after the recent failures of expensive satellite missions, such as the ViaSat-3 geostationary satellite. It encountered a problem during the deployment of the antenna, which caused it to lose most of its planned capacity. Subsequently, ViaSat filed an insurance claim for compensation of USD 421 million.

Clearing the geostationary orbit of spent satellites can become a promising and profitable market. Startup services can help operators squeeze the maximum useful life out of each spacecraft, and make near-Earth orbit safer.

Despite the uncertain future, Usov expresses confidence that their technology will become important in the space industry. The company is committed to developing its technology and notes that new areas of use may appear in ten years.

Earlier, we reported on how a businessman from Russia brought the Momentus space company to the brink of bankruptcy.

According to techcrunch.com

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